19 April 2014: Birdwatch and walk on Otmoor

Leader: Peter Barker

The postponed visit finally took place, and though we were pretty protected against the weather with anoraks and wellingtons, the rain stayed off. It is very pleasant as one enters the RSPB Otmoor reserve because the bird feeders, near the trees, are always busy. The usual suspects were there, but a stonechat and great spotted woodpecker as well. The walk along to the hides had added interest this time because the raised water levels had left long narrow grassy rides exposed along which hares were running. At the first hide, there were plenty wildfowl to see, identified below. Peter pointed out a small group of cattle in the distance, with a small addition – not a calf, but a fallow deer which thought it was. The view from the second hide is particularly appealing. The pools and short stretches of water broken by the reed beds look so peaceful with teal, coot, pochard, mallard and coot drifting in and out of view. At the last viewing screens, in the private area just over the fence, Peter thought that there might be whoopers in amongst the mute swans. Unfortunately not, but as we turned back to look at the pools again, a bittern flew from one reed bed to another – a first for some of us. So it was a great day. Thank you Peter.

Attendees:
Chris Biggs, Hugh Summers, Vivienne Summers, David Guyoncourt, Jackie Hudson, Sally Gillard, Sue Morley, Graeme Bateman, Sally Ainslie, Michael Bloom, John Morris, Mike Wilkins, Mike Chown, Jane Brown, Mr Jenkins, Felicity Jenkins.
Birds:
chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, blue tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, robin, reed bunting, stonechat, fieldfare, starling, carrion crow, rook, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, pheasant, heron, bittern, golden plover, lapwing, coot, mallard, teal, pintail, widgeon, gadwall, pochard, shoveler, Canada goose, grey lag goose, mute swan, sparrowhawk, peregrine falcon.
Mammals:
hare, fallow deer

Hugh Summers